MFC-8870DW

FAQs & Troubleshooting

FAQs & Troubleshooting

What is Distinctive Ring and how do I program it?

Distinctive Ring is a function of your Brother machine that allows a person with one line to receive fax and voice calls through two different phone numbers on that one line.

Brother uses the term "Distinctive Ring" to describe this service, but telephone companies market the service under a variety of names, such as Custom Ringing, Personalized Ring, Smart Ring, Ring Master, Ident-a-Ring, Ident-a-Call, Data Ident-A-Call, Teen Ring, SimpleBiz Fax & Alternate Number Ringing, and BT Call Sign. This service establishes a second telephone number on the same line as your existing telephone number, and each number has its own ring pattern. Typically, the original number rings with the standard ring pattern and is used for receiving voice calls, and the second number rings with a different ring pattern and is used for receiving faxes.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION:
  • You must pay for your telephone company's Distinctive Ring service before you program the Brother machine to work with it.

  • Please call your telephone company for availability and rates.

Once you have subscribed to the local telephone company for this service, your Brother machine will then need to be programmed to recognize the ring pattern assigned to the fax number.

Before programming your Brother machine, verify the telephone company has activated the distinctive ring number. Once the distinctive ring is programmed in your Brother machine, the unit will recognize a fax call through the selected ring pattern within 2 cycles of ringing and will automatically answer with a fax tone. When the voice line is called, your Brother machine will recognize the voice line ring pattern and will not interrupt the call.


Before you choose the ring pattern to program

You can only program one Distinctive Ring pattern with the machine. Some ring patterns cannot be programmed. The ring patterns below are supported by your Brother machine. Program the one your telephone company gives you.

  • Long-Long (this ring pattern is often called "Short-Short" by phone companies)
  • Short-Long-Short
  • Short-Short-Long
  • Very Long (this is the standard telephone ring pattern)

Please note that you can only select one of these ring patterns at a time. If the ring pattern assigned by your telephone company is not listed, please call your telephone company and request that they assign one of the selectable ring patterns.

Programming the Distinctive Ring pattern
To program your Brother machine to receive faxes using a Distinctive Ring number, please follow the steps listed below:

IMPORTANT NOTE:
When you are using the Distinctive Ring feature, your Brother machine's Receive Mode is automatically set to Manual. This ensures the Brother machine will only answer the Distinctive Ring number and not interfere when your main telephone number is called.

In reference to voice mail and telephone answering devices, Distinctive Ring is the only time voice mail can be used on the same phone line as a Brother unit. When using a TAD or voice mail, they must be set up to always (even if the line is busy) answer after 4 or more rings and you cannot use Toll saver features. It takes the Brother machine two complete ring patterns before it answers the call. If the TAD or voice mail is programmed to answer in less than 4 rings or if you utilize a Toll Saver feature, the TAD, or voice mail may answer the fax line before the machine can recognize the Distinctive Ring pattern.

*If your Brother machine has a touchscreen, please follow the steps of "For touch screen models" below.
  1. Press Menu and choose Fax => Miscellaneous => Distinctive or BT Call Sign or Fax Ability => Set  or On.
  2. Press OK.
  3. If you do not hear a ring pattern, you are finished. Press the Stop/Exit key, to exit as you are finished.  Do not proceed to the next step.
  4. If you begin hearing ring patterns, these can be programmed into the unit.  Press the Up or Down arrow key to listen to each ring pattern and continue the steps below.
    There are four ring patterns available, and you should use the Up or Down Arrow key to choose the one that matches the Distinctive Ring pattern assigned by your telephone company. You will hear each pattern as you select it, which should help you make the correct choice.
  5. Press OK. The Distinctive Ring feature is now enabled.
  6. Press Stop/Exit.
<For touch screen models>
  1. Press MENU on the Touchscreen.
  2. Press the Up or Down Arrow key to display Fax. Press Fax.
  3. Press the Up or Down Arrow key to display Miscellaneous. Press Miscellaneous.
  4. Press the Up or Down Arrow key to display Distinctive or BT Call Sign or Fax Ability. (This step might be skipped in some models.)
  5. Press Distinctive or BT Call Sign or Fax Ability.
  6. Press Set(On).
  7. Press the stored ring pattern you want to use. Press OK.
    (You will hear each pattern as you scroll through the four patterns. Make sure you choose the pattern that the telephone company gave you.)
  8. Press Stop/Exit key. Distinctive Ring is now enabled.

Turning Off Distinctive Ring

If you currently have the Distinctive Ring feature enabled on your machine and you wish to turn it off, follow these steps:

*If your Brother machine has a touchscreen, please follow the steps of "For touch screen models" below.
  1. Press Menu and choose Fax => Miscellaneous => Distinctive or BT Call Sign or Fax Ability => Off.
  2. Press OK to confirm your choice.
  3. Press Stop/Exit.
<For touch screen models>
  1. Press MENU on the Touchscreen.
  2. Press the Up or Down Arrow key to display Fax. Press Fax.
  3. Press the Up or Down Arrow key to display Miscellaneous. Press Miscellaneous.
  4. Press the Up or Down Arrow key to display Distinctive or BT Call Sign or Fax Ability. (This step might be skipped in some models.)
  5. Press Distinctive or BT Call Sign or Fax Ability.
  6. Press Off.
  7. Press Stop/Exit.

If your question was not answered, have you checked other FAQs?

Have you checked the manuals?

If you need further assistance, please contact Brother customer service:

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